Brian Robson never shaves his beard on the morning of the Indianapolis 500. That’s because his grandfather, Hal Robson, a three-time Indianapolis 500 starter was a superstitious man who started the family tradition.
Hal Robson first raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946. It was the same year his brother, George Robson, won the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
“I grew up with my grandparents through all my summers,” said Brian Robson, the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports spotter for driver Marcus Ericsson. “I spent a lot of time with my grandfather and that’s why I always wanted to be in racing.”
Although Hal Robson never made it to victory lane, his brother, George (shown at right), drank the milk the same year Hal made his first start.
“George’s competition in 1946 was Jimmy Jackson and when my grandpa knocked a rod out of his engine, the debris from his motor actually took out Jimmy Jackson’s windshield and that’s what caused Jackson to have to come in and take a pit stop which actually gave George a little bit more of a buffer to beat him that day,” Robson said.
As a kid growing up in Southern California, Brian Robson always imagined himself following in his great-uncle’s and grandfather’s footsteps. That didn’t happen, but he has found his own path working the iconic race.
“It’s all for the love of the Indianapolis 500,” Robson said with a smile. “Every time I walk in Gasoline Alley, I feel so fortunate to be part of this event year after year. It means everything to me. I thank my grandpa for it every race. I haven’t been on a winning team yet, but when I do, I can say I’ve done it all.”
Meet Brian Robson: